Space ships

Hey Hitfilm forum! New here. Been playing around with Hitfilm  and like any good newbie, I went straight to making Star Wars space ships...

I have two main things I was hoping to get some help on. 1st thing is making the ships turn. I can't seem to get them to make smooth turns. Is it just a matter of being more careful and adding more key frames on the turns?  2nd thing is the engine glow. I made a point layer that I parented to the model. Then, added lightflare on a grade layer that I parented to the point layer. This worked out pretty good, but one thing I noticed is the light stays the same size as the ship moves away. Is there a better way to make it  3d to scale with the ships?

My next goal is to learn to control the camera pans. The Hitfilm interface is intuitive enough, I just need to play around and figure out what camera moves will look good.


  • edited April 2017

    When you´re animating the turn of the ships, switch your timeline to "value graph" (you find the button in the upper right corner of the timeline). Then you can use the upper diamond-looking buttons to smooth your keyframe.

    For a camera pan just animate the rotation in the "Transform" settings of the camera.

  • That is a great shot you are setting up there the lighting on the destroyer is great. Did you design the ships or payed for, they look good.

  • @CLC The destroyer from the CG Geek tutorial? If so that was a really fun build. I started making a Millennium Falcon that was fun to make as well. The shot you have there looks great and as @Malik_Patzold pointed out is the types of keyframing you use helps with different types of movement so I am sure between that and making sure your anchor point is in a good position to be able to rotate the ship in a more natural position than say at the nose or tail.

  • edited April 2017

    @CLC  When I was playing with my Jupiter 2 animations somehow I got the animation path to show up in the viewer window and then I was able to click on keyframes and drag them around to make a sort bezier  curve kind of thing with the path.  I could switch the views to the top and make tweaks too.  Maybe one of the "pros" here can tell you what I did to see the path that way.  It was totally random accident on my part, but it let me put a nice sweeping curve on the flight path. 

    It was the one I posted of the Jupiter 2 leaving Earth.  I messed it up a few times and had to undo and rebuild it, so it was fussy for me but worked.


  • Thanks for the tips. I'll try them out this weekend.

    As for the models, they are free ones from The Destroyer I used was "Imperator"made by fractalsponge.

  • @CLC I played around with that project some figured out that if I selected the position key frames line the path becomes visible between the keys.  

  • edited April 2017

    @CLC I was just curious cause it is similar in looks to the one that CG Geek did a tutorial for on YouTube.

    The tutorial I was talking about for Blender

  • When you are in viewer mode, there are three buttons just to the left of the viewer that toggle different controls. The top one (I think) toggles motion blur, the second toggles the grid on and off and the third toggles the path between key frames on and off.

  • Amazing work. Looks like episode of Star Trek.

  • Wow, will I ever be able to pull something like this off as newbie? It looks freaking cool! 

  • As for the light flares for engine glow......I'm sure there is a better way to do it, but I simply just change the scale of the flare as it moves either away or towards the camera. Usually two or three key frames does the trick......and is pretty seamless.

  • Is it really that simple? I'm starting from zero so I have absolutely no idea how difficult or simple this can be for me. 

  • edited August 2017

    Been a while, thanks for all the feedback. Playing around  some more, and to make the engine glow scale, I generated a sphere and parented it to the model. Then added neon glow.  I think it works out pretty good. 

    New shot  using this technique:

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    For a brief moment as the camera pans, the engine glow looks very 2d, but it's hardly noticeable if you ask me. I think I just see it because I was watching it render in slow-mo. 

  •  Finally got the engine glow to work like I want. I made a 3d plane and used the sphere effect and parented it to the model. Then added the neon glow effect to the sphere.  I think it works out pretty good!

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited August 2017

    Looking very good!   Good looking composite.  Lens flares look great!

    One thing that can make the camera motion even better is keep the camera stationary, but target it to a point that is attached to the ship (or it's parent).

    For the camera set Alignment = Towards Layer

     Alignment Layer - select the target point.

  • I wouldn't leave the camera stationary.  I'd give it a subtle move over the course of the shot, but only with two keyframes: first frame and last frame.

    However, I definitely agree with the tip to have the camera aim at the ship using a point that's parented to the ship.  Just make sure you don't leave the tracked point static at the center of the ship.  It should be moving, but like the camera, that movement should be very very simple.  Start with just two keyframes -- one on the very first frame to set your starting framing, and another on the very last frame to set the end framing.  Leave the interpolation on both keyframes linear to start with.  If the framing of the ship as it passes the camera isn't to your liking, adjust the tracked point forward or backward to add a third keyframe somewhere in that range, change the interpolation to Manuel Bezier, and adjust the handles in the value editor as needed to keep the transition smooth.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited August 2017

    @jsbarrett that works, but, if you DON'T know, a camera's rotation parameters apply after the auto align toggle, so another option is, instead of skewing the camera alignment point, use rotation keys on the camera to offset the target in frame. Either method works, so it's down to workflow preference of the individual animator. 

  • Ah, I did not know that. I assumed that alignment in HitFilm worked like the aim constraint in Maya, which locks manual rotation on the constrained object (though the aim constraint node does have rotation offset attributes, so I guess it's still somewhat similar). 

  • I'm trying to follow the youtube tutorial on the Star Wars spaceship scene. I'm trying to make the planets. When I create a  mask around the sphere, this happens:

    masking help needed

    Anyone have a solution, or know what setting I need to tweek?


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